A Little Circle of Kindred Minds: Joyce in Paris is a commendable introduction to the cultural scene and, most importantly, to the now virtually mythical stories that have been told about these modernist artists. Although not always exact as literary history, the stories are told with a contagious passion.
A Dubliner and former editor with RTÉ, Fennell has an enthusiasm for Joyce and other Irish writers in Paris that is apparent on every page. The anecdotal sketches are a pleasure to see recounted again and should encourage readers to pursue the memoirs and biographies that form the foundation of Fennell’s book. One could quibble with some of the facts, as well as with the generalisations and summary statements, but that would be to miss the point of the book, which is a broad exploration of some of the characters that helped make Paris “the centre of English-language Modernism”.
Tag Archives: Reviews
July 16, 2011 – 11:34 pm
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January 5, 2011 – 11:31 am
Declan Burke, a favourite of mine and a fellow I’ve had coffee with before, has an interesting post about reviews that come alone some time AFTER publication and the value of these non-traditional media:
Leaving aside my fascination with the web’s potential for generating coverage of writers who might not otherwise get a fair shake, not to mention the opportunity it provides to by-pass traditional publishing and go straight to the reader, it’s always nice to know that someone is reading your stories, and nicer still when you know that you haven’t wasted their precious reading time, and particularly nice when a reader goes to all the trouble up writing a review and uploading it. These are not things I take lightly.
It’s one thing, and a marvellous thing in itself, to be reviewed in the traditional media outlets, but the fact remains that said reviews are written by people who have received a copy of your book for free, and are being paid to write the review. But, and at the risk of being overly sentimental, there’s something a little bit special about a review from a reader who has paid good money to read your story, and then, off their own bat, and with no reward for it, puts in the time and effort to write a review and post it to the web. Above all else it’s a practical example of that much abused phrase ‘the kindness of strangers’, and I deeply appreciate it, and always will.
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